How Mavalli tiffin rooms converted Crisis to Opportunity
We are continually faced by great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems." Anonymous
Mavalli Tiffin rooms ( MTR) a well known restaurant in Bangalore, has been attracting tourist and locals alike. It was started in 1924 near an iconic park. It is a meeting point over a cup of coffee especially breakfast time sees all walkers from the Lalbagh Gardens waiting, some times, for more than an hour.
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Albert Einstein
In its ninety years, MTR has faced three major crisises. These were converted to opportunities by the entrepreneur Maiya Sr. The new products he created became a signature dishes- Rave Idli ( Semolina) and Chandrahara, a sweet dish.
1.During world war II, rice was in short supply. Rice is the main ingredient in the popular south Indian dishes, idly and dosa. Maiya looked around for an alternative and thus was born Rave Idly made out of semolina. This has became one of the specialty dishes in the restaurant. This item helped in moving up the value chain subsequently. It is on the menu of almost all the restaurants now.
During 1970, India faced severe food shortage and government introduced rationing and price control. The prices of all ingredients skyrocketed. Running MTR became unviable and Maiya decided to close the restaurant. The restaurant reopened only in 1984.
In the meanwhile, Maiya did not want his employees to suffer. MTR had a tremendous brand value. He decided to capitalize on this brand value and started manufacturing ready to eat snacks and opened a store adjacent to the restaurant.
Now MTR has a restaurant business and a ready to eat food business. MTR ready to eat manufacturing unit was also accredited with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification which is a rigorous standard of food safety and hygiene.
The owner would never have imagined the significance of his decision at that point of time. In 2007, twenty three years later the ready to eat food business was was sold for $ 80 million to Orkla, a Norwegian company.
Crisis to Opportunity 3
Mr. Maiya travelled across the world. During his visit to France he was quite impressed with the French cuisine, especially bakery items.
After his trip to France,Mr. Mayia introduced ‘open Kitchen’ concept so that the customers could see food being prepared. What is in a name ? At this time he developed a signature sweet and named it as” French Sweet”. Alas, he was disappointed that the sweet did not fare well. He noticed a movie ‘"Chandrahara" running in the cinema hall close to his restaurant. He renamed the sweet ‘Chandrahara’.It became instant hit. Even today , this is a very popular dish. However this dish is available only on Sundays, thus increasing its brand value.
“Ended it with a sweet, Chandrahara, this is a traditional mithai, made mostly during weddings, loaded with ghee, the best I have ever had.”
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